Our planet is in the midst of unprecedented change. The world's population is growing and moving into urban areas while consumption of vital resources is trending higher as the global middle class grows from one to four billion.
All this is putting stress on key resources and negatively impacting vital ecosystems, which is resulting in rapid alterations to water sheds, contributing to forest depletion, and impacting biodiversity assets. Industry and government are developing programs to redesign products, services and infrastructure to minimize these impacts. The only thing missing is an organization charged with examining the cumulative benefits or impacts of these initiatives.
The Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce is changing this. We are providing private and public decision makers with a science-based understanding of how new technologies and strategies can effectively address environmental concerns.
As firms and governments begin to develop policies and technological innovations, how can they benefit the sustainability of global regions? This is one of many questions the Center is tackling by quantifying future trends and impacts for key mineral, forest, and ecosystem resources while exploring organizational and technological innovations to reduce the impacts.
The Center is engaged in tracking formal governmental policies and industry initiatives on sustainable systems to learn about opportunities to match efforts and identify contradictory programs that can have adverse affects. In this section, we will provide links and copies of the policies and regulations to help industry chart what exists and what is emerging.
While policies and regulations establish end-point requirements, standards provide an established methodology to meet those requirements. Researchers at the Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce are actively engaged in providing these standard-setting organizations impartial scientific analysis.